Sunday, 13 May 2012

TWD Pecan Buns

We began making this on Saturday morning. If there's one thing we've learned about baking is that it's better when it's not hurried.

The sponge was made, we had breakfast and so ate the eggs to make the dough. Fast forward to Sunday. We made the sponge, made the dough, let it rise, deflated it, put it in the fridge. And then read the rest of the recipe. We need another 9 hours of daytime to make the buns. It will then be 11 at night. We have to leave for the airport at 5am. The buns are best eaten the same day. There will only be one hour of the same day left. This will have to go in the freezer and be resumed later. Not back till Wednesday. Here it is chillaxing in the fridge. So far so good. But was one of the instructions really " smear butter on every available kitchen surface and domestic appliance. Or was that just me?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

TWD Hungarian Shortbread

TWD - Hungarian Shortbread

Everything about this was fabulous and will become a staple in our repertoire.  What did we like about it? The dough came together quickly in the food processor and then had an overnight rest in the fridge.  The jam was delicious on its own, as was the raw dough!  The grating method was so easy and it came out of the oven crispy on the bottom and top and soft on the inside.

Things we changed: we noticed that other TWDers were baking the bottom on its own then adding the jam so we did this too and got a crispy bottom layer.  We halved the dough recipe but made all of the jam recipe yet there seemed to be only just enough jam - how would it have covered the whole amout of dough?  Anyway, thumbs up from us.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

TWD Lemon Loaf

Easy to make but...... Just not worth it. Far better cakes out there which are just as easy to make. None of it was eaten so it has been wrapped in foil and put in the freezer for an emergency which requires a lot of underwhelming cake.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

April Meal Planning

The draft meal plan for April.

Not all lunches planned for first week due to Easter holidays and being at home - we often have a substantial brunch of eggs and porridge.  Some cooking and shopping will be necessary - not necessarily in the last week of the month - more likely this week whilst on holiday.  Only a little milk, vegetable and salad shopping needed so £100 ($160) looks like a manageable target.

Week 1
Wed April 4
Week 2
Wed April 11
Week 3
Wed April 18
Week 4
Wed 25

  1. Chicken stew
  2. Mince pot x 2
1 Salmon
2 Shami kebab rice and dal
3 Jacket potato/beans
1Beef Stew
2 Salmon
3 Chicken stew
4 Mince pot
1 2 Shami kebabs, rice, 2 dal
2 Jacket potato and mince pot
3 Salmon, new potatoes, veg
4  2 Lasagne
5 Soup with ravioli and bread

1 Jacket potato and mince pot with salad
2 2 Lasagne
3 2 Dal and chapatti
4 Salmon pasta
5 Kitcheree pot
6 Chicken stew

1 Salmon and veg
2 Beef stew
3 2 Shami kebabs, rice, big dal pot
4 Big mince, potatoes, spinach/ peas with rice
5 Big dal/ rice
6 Jacket potato/beans
1 Salmon/veg
2 2 Mince pots with veg and chapatti
3 Big dal and rice, 2 kebabs
4 Jacket potato and beans
5 Chicken stew
6 Miso soup and dumplings
Stew vegetables

Baking potatoes
salmon veg
Vegetables for:
4 s dal
4 b dal
4 samosas
9 shami kebabs
7 pots mince
1 big mince
5 portions lasagne
12 portions salmon
12 drumsticks
2 tubs chicken
0.4 kg stewing beef
Ravioli for soup
4 ruglach rolls, 1 chocolate pastry dough
Curry leaves, Chilli, Lemongrass, Thyme
Peas Spinach

Want to see inside our fridges?

In late January of this year I decided to do a fridge and freezer inventory which then led to a February meal plan - a whole month meal plan. I was quite pleased with myself: it emptied the freezer, we knew what we were eating everyday, there was less washing up. The worst part?  Using I worked out that we had over £300 worth of food in stock, but it felt like we had nothing to eat.  The best part, however, was a food bill of £97.13 compared to a January spend of £222.99 and March spending of £133.94. The aim for April is to spend £100 on food.
Shall we have a look at what's inside the fridges?

Fridge 1 Vegetables, fruit and nuts

Cheese, milk, butter, ghee, eggs

Fridge 2 Sauces and condiments

The mouldy lurkers: parsnips, ginger, spouting garlic, and a squidgy potato.

Ants on a log.... otherwise known as fresh turmeric on a dudhi.

In the cupboards

3kg basmati rice
6kg Atta flour
6kg strong bread flour (not shown)
Pasta (spaghetti, spirals, orzo, lasagne)
9kg of pulses (toor, chickpeas, mung, masoor)
Panko breadcrumbs

Tea..720 bags plus green tea, 6 cans of tomato soup, 4 cans of chopped tomatoes, 3 pots of baked beans, 3 cans of sweetcorn, 2 cans of mackerel

The freezer

Mystery Pots

4 small pots of dal 4 big pots of dal 4 samosas 9 shami kebabs 7 pots mince 1 big pot of mince 5 portions lasagne 12 portions salmon 12 drumsticks 2 tubs chicken 0.4 kg stewing beef Cheese Dumplings Croutons Ravioli for soup 4 ruglach rolls (Tuesdays with Dorie) 1 chocolate pastry dough (Tuesdays with Dorie)
1 Portion Pizza Rustica (Tuesdays with Dorie)
Curry leaves

Now all I have to do is turn it into a meal plan

Here is February's meal plan.  I began by crossing off items on the computer version but eventually stuck it on the fridge with a magnet and used a pencil!  The idea was that we'd stick to the allocated meals for the week as much as possible, but were free to choose from another column if we wanted.  It worked well but the breakfast row will be left out next time.  For obvious reasons.  Lunch is leftovers from the previous day apart from at the weekend when we tend to cook more.  For example, a "mystery pot" is an unlabelled pot of food from the freezer, probably, but not always curry or dal.  But "dal and rice" means that the dal and rice will have to be cooked from scratch.
Week 1
Wed Feb 1st
Week 2
Wed Feb 8th
Week 3
Wed Feb 15th
Half Term
Week 4
Wed Feb 22nd
  1. Eggs
  2. Eggs
  3. Porridge
  4. Porridge
  5. Porridge
  6. Porridge
  7. Porridge
  1. Eggs
  2. Eggs
  3. Porridge
  4. Porridge
  5. Porridge
  6. Porridge
  7. Porridge
  1. Eggs
  2. Eggs
  3. Porridge
  4. Porridge
  5. Porridge
  6. Porridge
  7. Porridge
  1. Eggs
  2. Eggs
  3. Porridge
  4. Porridge
  5. Porridge
  6. Porridge
  7. Porridge
  1. Chicken and mystery pot cauliflower
  2. Tuna pasta
  3. Salmon and lentils
  4. Miso Soup and bean fritters (2 each)
  1. Mystery pot veg curry rice
  2. Refried bean sandwiches
  3. Salmon, veg and baked potato
  4. Tuna pasta
  5. Dal and rice
  1. Single lasagna pot and single soup
  2. Tuna pasta
  3. Miso soup and veg dumplings
  4. Egg brunch
  5. Dal and rice
  1. Refried bean sandwiches
  2. Tuna pasta
  3. Soup and ravioli
  4. Thai(ish) soup and chicken meatballs
  5. Dal and rice
  1. Mystery pot veg curry and rice 
  2. Mystery pot 2 sm. veg curry and rice/bread
  3. Baked potato and mystery pot (2 sm. veg curry plus some paneer)
  4. Salmon and lentils
  5. Miso potato and carrot soup with prawn dumplings (2 each)
  6. Tuna pasta
  7. Dal and rice
  1. Mystery pot lasagna
  2. Mystery pot ( 2 small cauliflower and potato and one one other for lunch tomorrow too) 
  3. Mushroom Risotto Delia pg. 125
  4. Tuna pasta
  5. Salmon, veg and baked potato
  6. Feta impossible pie
  7. Dal and rice
  1. Mystery pot cawl
  2. Yellow freezer soup with lamb freezer kebabs
  3. Medium mystery pot of potato and veg curry and rice/rotis 
  4. Tuna pasta
  5. Freezer  Chicken leg soup
  6. Tomato pasta
  7. Dal and rice
  1. Tuna pasta
  2. Soup and ravioli
  3. Thai(ish) soup and chicken meatballs
  4. Spinach potato and paneer curry
  5. Tomato pasta
  6. Dal and rice
  7. Aglio olio

Monday, 2 April 2012

TWD Pizza Rustica

Our version of this quiche-with-attitude is with smoked salmon. Everything about this worked well: the pastry came together well in the food processor and had a little rest whilst we mixed the filling in a bowl. It smelled lovely whilst baking and we managed to let it cool completely before slicing off a chunk....and reheating it!

Crispy pastry, firm filling, clean slices. Perfect.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

TWD - Baking with Julia - Irish Soda Bread

Here's our attempt at Soda bread. Very easy and I quite like crust.
We also used some of the dough to make cookies by mixing in sugar and oats (bottom let) and of course we're still making white bread! (top left)

Here we have everything read to go!

Just a little mix...